So far, this has been a solid year for new jazz releases. There are numerous artists proceeding with a real sense of urgency that is making for genuinely captivating music. These recent discs have been on my radar lately:Pianist Vijay Iyer has issued numerous rewarding projects in recent years, but “Far From Over” (ECM) may be his most satisfying yet.
As the summer wraps up, here are some notable local club appearances and one promising mountain jazz festival to help us savor every last moment. Ken Peplowski is inarguably one of the finest living practitioners on the clarinet (another is Denver resident Don Byron). He’s capable of reeling off sensitive and exploratory solos (and when he picks up the tenor sax, Peplowski evokes Lester Young — no small feat).
Simply put, 2015 was a tremendous and diverse year for new jazz recordings. Paring down to just 10 entries was more difficult than I can recall for quite some time, but here it is. This list has been compiled with others from across the jazz journalism community for the annual 2015 NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, released last week at NPR.org. 1. Tomeka Reid, “Tomeka Reid Quartet” (Thirsty Ear) The cellist delivered a buoyant, friendly debut set that I played more than any other recording from 2015.
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